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Buckthorn Bark: Digestive Health Benefits For All

Buckthorn Bark comes from the rhamnus frangula tree’s stems and branches and is used as an herbal remedy for bowel disorders and painful anal fissure. It is commercially available as an alternative health supplement in the form of dried extract powder capsule, tablet, or tea. We’ll talk about dosage and potential side effects later in the article.

Buckthorn barks need to be grown up to one year before they are fit for consumption. Otherwise, using untreated buckthorn may irritate the protective mucosa lining in your stomach and lead to severe gastrointestinal irritations, diarrhea, vomiting, colic, and spasms.

buckthorn bark rhamnus frangula treeBuckthorn trees are very common in the forests of northern America in places like Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, New York, Maine and Canada. Many people in these places consider Glossy Buckthorn trees to be bad or invasive and they seek removal of the trees.

Those who are interested in using this herbal remedy are advised that the taste of the bark is sweet and slightly bitter. The berries on the tree shouldn’t be consumed at all. In fact, it causes such severe diarrhea that many of the birds and animals that eat the berries will die from dehydration.

Alternative Names for Buckthorn Bark

  • Alder Dogwood
  • Arrow Wood
  • Dogwood
  • Bois Noir
  • Bourdaine
  • Coudrier Noir
  • Frangula Bark
  • Frangula Alnus
  • Ramnus Frangula
  • Glossy Buckthorn
  • Nerprun Bourdaine
  • Nerprun Noir

Health Benefits of Buckthorn Bark

  • Buckthorn helps in relieving constipation.
  • It also helps in easing hemorrhoids and anal fissures.
  • Buckthorn bark may increase motility that aids in cleansing the colon more efficiently.
  • The plants also contain anthraquinone, a healthy substance that helps fight disease.
  • Buckthorn may also be used in health tonics and diuretics.

Relieving constipation is the primary benefit of Buckthorn bark. It is because the plant contains chemical properties that work as laxatives which stimulate the movements in the intestines.

The anthraquinone contents of Buckthorn help regulate bowel movement especially as it passes through the colon. These anthraquinones prevent the intestines from absorbing too much water. The unabsorbed water will then be transferred to the stool, making its movement easy and painless.

When Buckthorn bark eases constipation, the stool becomes softer, thus allowing it to pass easily without any irritation associated with hemorrhoids and anal fissures. The bark also relieves the pain and pressure caused by these two conditions and is an effective cathartic.

In other words, when the properties found in Buckthorn bark treat constipation, they also treat hemorrhoids and anal fissures at the same time. An additional benefit is that some scientific studies and clinical trials have revealed the bark has some beneficial and healthy antifungal properties.

Buckthorn bark can also increase the motility of colons. It is also an effective colon cleanser.

The anthraquione properties stimulate the movement of the colon and prevent it from becoming spontaneous. Spontaneous movements push fecal matter through the colon which consequently leads to impaction and constipation.

Buckthorn Bark Dosage

The next time you experience constipation, hemorrhoids, and anal fissure, pick or buy dried, old Buckthorn bark. If eating the bark, watch the video below as the herbalist details the importance of letting the bark thoroughly dry for at least two weeks.

Drink at least 15 drops of liquid extract every day before you go to sleep. You will no longer feel any pain in your stomach the following day, and your bowel movement will go back to normal. You can up your dosage to 30 drops, but if you exceed that quantity for your dosage, you may experience intestinal cramps.

If you watch this video, the herbalist begins describing the uses, benefits and method of extraction of Buckthorn bark at about the 8:45 mark. You’ll no doubt find it as interesting as I did, especially since I couldn’t find any other useful videos about this alternative health remedy.

Lastly, I want you to know that I personally get almost all of my herbs from Lost Empire Herbs. Their sourcing is the best in the business and many of their herbs are grown in the USA. Click here to learn about their patented Full-Spectrum Extraction process and get 15% off your first order! Tip: Be sure to sign up for their newsletter at the top.

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9 thoughts on “Buckthorn Bark: Digestive Health Benefits For All”

  1. Anyone have experience using herbs to heal an anal fissure? (this is where the delicate anal tissue has torn, basically leaving a wound that often re-tears with every bowel movement even when kept soft so they are challenging to heal)

    We have tried essential oils for a limited time and St. John?s wort oil with little success but again these weren?t used longer than a week at a time. We have also used Manuka honey applied to the anus area outside and internally at bedtime with some success but it?s not completely healing the wound. Also, using nightly Epsom salt baths and sitting on a heat pad a few times during the day to bring blood to the area to assist in healing the wound.

    Also because these are very painful any ideas on what to apply topically to decrease the pain? We tried Helichrysum EO but it didn?t really minimize the pain.

    Appreciate any ideas and especially would love to hear from anyone that has successfully worked with this issue.


    • Hi Adrea,

      I have experience with this. The two most important issues I have found are lubrication and softness of stool.

      I use Boiron calendula ointment for this problem because the petrolatum base has a lot of staying power. You need to keep the anus well lubricated at all times but especially before and after each bowel movement. This ointment really works because it isn?t quickly absorbed into the skin. Antimicrobial/anti-inflammatory herbs or EOs can be added to this ointment.

      Second is to keep the stool soft, this is essential. Hold to foods that are non-binding and even use stool softeners if needed – I would avoid laxatives as those set up new issues.


  2. You might want to try supplementation with a cold pressed, unrefined high linoleic acid seed oil plus a similar cold-pressed unrefined flax oil to supply some Omega-3 Linolenic acid oil to get a therapeutic ratio of around 3:1 in favor of linoleic over linolenic. Both are vital in tissue repair and may even help with a laxative effect as well.

    The problem is that most of the Omega-6 Linoleic acid out there that we consume in our modern diet is adulterated and industrial treated to have a long shelf life. Accordingly, we are consuming a number of toxic by-products produced by the food industries treatment of these seed oils and processed foods that uses these seed oils. We are deficient of the pure unadulterated polyunsaturated fatty acids. Just make sure when you buy a commercial unrefined cold pressed supplement oil that it is not going rancid. It must have a pleasant taste always! If it has the slightest off-taste, it is going rancid.

    Here is a rat study that seems to show mucosa protection from these oils:


    Here is an interesting patent for its use:


    There are a number anecdotal cases where supplementation of these PUFAs has vastly improved tissue healing outcomes which I will not cite here. Worth a try!


  3. In as much as I dislike surgery option this fistula issues are really
    really painful and preventive of life functions.
    I have tested most homeopathic options and they all ware temporary in
    I recommend (but are NOT a Doc) to select to use surgery options as
    quickly as is possible if only to save 2 years+ of none quality life.
    a fistula are often a deep tissue infection, and needs to drain a 100%
    to be healing, this is difficult to fix as I have seen. Topical fixes
    are not addressing the real infection issue.

  4. I have used ointments with plenty of comfrey root for anal fissure healing. Add some marshmallow. plantain leaf, calendula too if wanted. Comfrey heals it really quickly! Hope this helps.
    Best wishes, Deanna

  5. I think someone mentioned flax. Years ago Henriette wrote about flax and
    the European’s view of flax. What I found interesting was the “drying”
    effect. Since then I’ve stopped adding flax oil and seeds to my daily
    foods. It’s been several years and just thinking about the anal fissure
    made me wonder! I tore my sphincter when giving birth to my first child
    (’87 -her head was 1 inch larger than the average) this resulted in a
    fissure later. There were a few things I did – co-incidentally I stopped
    the flax and looking back my hands and heels are not dry anymore (nor my
    tush) I also started doing a skin treatment which is equal parts of sole’
    (salt water), magnesium chloride, aloe vera, and 5x distilled vodka. This
    treatment made my skin so soft (and changed my health) so when I had an
    open fissure I put it there as well. It burned like crazy (salt and
    alcohol) but it worked. I also use castor oil on the area. I’ve used
    castor oil for scar tissue many times. I also eat lots of vegetables
    (fiber) If I eat more than a little meat I get hard stools — which you
    want to avoid. Castor oil will not come out of clothing or sheets so
    dedicate some to castor if you decide to try it. There is a book called
    “miracle oil” about Edgar Cayce … it’s about castor oil. And, drink
    plenty of fluids, getting dehydrated is constipating. I’ve been taking
    mimosa pudica recently — wow talk about a stool softener in the herbal
    world. I’ve been on the list for years, so maybe some will remember my
    castor oil baby. I was trying to heal my ovary with castor oil packs.
    Turns out I dissolved the scar tissue in my only fallopian tube .. and what
    ?? – had a baby at the tender age of 42. I didn’t heal my ovary, but
    that’s another story which involves RX side effects.

    be well,

  6. I agree with what was already said about pre and post BM lubrication.
    Fissures are a mechanical problem that can only be healed with diligence.
    The type of lubrication you use can speed healing, yes – like comfrey,
    calendula, etc… but preventing more mechanical damage is key.

    With each BM the fissure gets reopened, but if you can protect the lining
    and speed healing before each BM, you get net healing. It’s kind of a
    process of 2 steps forward 1 step back. If you don’t lubricate then it will
    always be 1 step forward 1 step back, or sometimes 2 steps back.

    Lubrication pre and post BM + using a vulnerary will get you ahead of the

  7. Anal fissure thought
    I once more like to point out that an anal fissure are extremely painful
    and fissures are often deep inside and can often not be reach from the
    outside, for a fissure to heal any infections needs to be 100% removed,
    how do you remove this infection, suggestions I have seen are only
    surface fixing and do not heal any fissures.
    (but can possibly give relief, my opinion)
    even if under doctors knife only 50% are successfully done,.
    antibiotic dos not work or are NOT recommended I been told
    I my case we could ex-spell puss but was newer 100% successful at that
    But we succeeded in lowering the size of the infection and controlling
    that size, (to 10x10mm) took 2years


    PS – First rule is apply coconut oil to the anal fissure multiple times per day for natural lubrication.

  8. I have had an anal fissure for over 12 years. Thankfully, it has been at
    least 3 years since my last flare-up. What helped the most for me were hot
    baths and using tea tree suppositories liberally. These can be found in
    many natural food stores. They are labeled “for vaginal hygiene” but I used
    them up the anus and they worked great for me. Making your own with more
    high-quality ingredients would probably be even better, but convenience won
    out for me, and these worked like a charm. They helped with the pain too.
    Of course, I also followed a high fiber diet, including supplementing my
    diet with fiber powder when necessary. I still would like to see more
    healing in my case, but I have gotten it to the point where a hard stool
    will make me bleed for a day or two with little to no pain, and even that
    only happens every few months.

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